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Is it employers’ responsibility to help out with cost of living crisis?

60% of the UK workforce believe employers should help them with the cost-of-living crisis. This is according to a survey of 1052 full-time employees carried last month by Culture Amp, an employee experience platform. The findings lay bare the challenges facing HRs as they embark on a third year of trauma, addressing rising cost of living concerns while creating psychological safety to stressed employees.

Six out of ten employees – and almost two-thirds of women – in the UK believe that their employers should help with the rising cost of living, says new research*.

The research shows that three quarters of the UK workforce is now troubled by rising living costs, with women considerably more worried (84%) than men (57%). Younger employees are particularly worried with eight of ten 25-34 year olds feeling the pinch while only around two thirds of over-55s are troubled by the price crunch.

Adding to employee concerns, half (50%) of the respondents (53% women and 45% men) are worried at how the state of the world might impact their employment prospects.

The survey of 1,052 full-time employees, carried out in May 2022, lays bare employee engagement and longer-term development challenges facing HR professionals today.

The data reveal rising stress levels, particularly for women, and vivid contrasts between genders over whether or not they display their emotions as people seek greater psychological safety at work.

Notable findings include:

  • When researchers asked those people who were actively looking to change jobs why they had been driven to do so, many more women (44%) than men (17%) cited a stressful working environment.
  • When all is not well at work, women are much more likely to put on a brave face on the situation. Nearly half (45%) of women say they had done this in the last month compared with only 18% of men.
  • One third of women (33%) said they had cried because of work in the last month while fewer than one in ten men (8%) had done so.

Jessica Brannigan, lead people scientist at Culture Amp, said “The UK workforce’s widespread concern over the cost of living and geopolitical uncertainties is creating another layer of trauma for organisations to address and resolve.

“The level of discipline/focus demanded by remote working, and some employers’ wish to modify or even abolish it, only worsens matters. Many early warning signs of employees’ discontent or stress from this situation may be going unnoticed because team members are hiding their true anxieties and ploughing on, without seeking deeper support from managers or colleagues.

“Organisations that put their people first thrive because, ultimately, they’re the key to customers having exceptional service and experiences.  Employees becoming more financially stressed and generally burnt out will have decreasing emotional energy levels to ensure their organisation delivers exceptional service or innovative products. This also means company culture will be undermined, detrimentally impacting everyone.”

*Research Commissioned by employee experience platform Culture Amp.

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